Financial aid payments to students delayed due to system issues

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Students are experiencing issues with receiving financial aid through the new MyDelta system since the beginning of the semester, including disbursements not being made in a timely matter.

“I was supposed to get it [financial aid] on the 29th [of Aug.] but got it on the 4th [of Sept.],” said student Aaron VanDyke, who applied for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Other students, such as Xochitl Rodriguez, still have not received financial aid despite applying for a FAFSA as well.

“I haven’t even received my financial aid as well as other students, which is pretty sad. It would’ve been nice if the school told us a few months before that the system was going to change, but they did not even mention anything. It’s really annoying and irritating,” said student Jessica Delgado.

Issues extend beyond FAFSA applications.

“Unfortunately, as with any implementation of a new system, we have run into difficulties with various financial aid processes which has included all our financial aid programs. As a result, it has impacted most students one way or another,” said Dean of Student Enrollment and Student Development Angela Tos in an email response to questions from The Collegian.

Recipients of aid through other programs such as fee waivers and the Pell Grant have also been impacted.

A majority of students rely on these programs to obtain aid.

Tina Lent, Director of the Financial Aid Department, said “70 percent of our student population on campus receives the CCPG (Fee Waiver) and usually we have approx. 6,200 students receive the Pell Grant.”

Random fees have also popped up on some students’ MyDelta accounts even though they do not need to pay them. A student reported they were even being charged out-of-state fees despite living in Stockton.

Students have been told to ignore these fees, MyDelta has posted messages notifying students about issues transmitting information and providing financial aid.

A post was made on the 5,000-plus member San Joaquin Delta College Facebook group with the caption “Did anyone else receive this?” Attached was a picture of a MyDelta message stating there was a technical glitch in regards to receiving the Pell Award. Other students were having similar struggles.

“The solution that financial aid is working hard on is: they have to clear (essentially cancel) the financial information out of PeopleSoft in order to fix the bug, then they will work to put all the awards and disbursements back in the system. Financial Aid is expecting this process to take 2-3 business days,” said Academic Senate President Kathleen Bruce in an email sent to faculty on Sept. 4.

At the Sept. 10 board meeting, in response to a board member asking about problems with financial aid, Tos said that “we have corrected the error” and the process was moving again. She also said, though, that “I don’t want to make a promise I can’t keep, which is why I’m not telling you the exact date” outstanding financial aid would be disbursed.

Problems are being tackled daily. Until these issues are resolved, the campus is providing means through which students can get by, including delaying parking enforcement through Sept. 23 so students have more time to get aid.